pretty fuzzy

It’s vacation week here, except once again it’s not my vacation. I need pretty, fuzzy things to distract my from all of my friends’ facebook status updates from Disney World. Sigh. Do you need pretty, fuzzy things too? Here ya go!

The pretty.

The fuzzy.

More pretty.

More fuzzy.

And pretty again.

The last fuzzy thing would be my brain…but I don’t have a picture of it. 🙂

my preciousssss

So Damon (mwah!) got me a liiiittle present for my birthday. This is my new baby:

I’ve been begging for desperate to have obsessing over thinking about buying a netbook for oh, um, about a year now, and my new contract made it possible now, as well as necessary. Right?? Riiiight. I can justify just about anything I need for work. 🙂 And it’s a refurb so it was cheap a sound business decision.

Can I just say, it’s waaaay smaller than I thought it would be, less than half the size of all of my most recent dead laptop. Y’all know I’m a laptop killer but I’m going to try really really hard not to let it get as hot as Mount Doom destroy this one. Pinky swear.

ps. I recently had a conversation wherein I aged myself. I actually said (and thought for that moment) that I was turning 39. Oy. Although you wouldn’t know it by the amount of grey I have to cover, I am, in fact, 38 today. ~ahem~ I’d really rather save my extra 39th birthdays for after the fact, not before it.

pss. I love that my kid saw the title in draft stage and got the LOTR reference by himself. Heh.

kicking cancer’s ass one science post at a time

If you don’t know WhyMommy, well, you should. And if you do know her then you know why I’m doing this.

I was very fortunate to meet and hug (and eat chocolate-dipped fruit with!) Susan aka WhyMommy at BlogHer this summer, but I feel like I’ve known her for oh so much longer. I’ve been a reader of her blog Toddler Planet for years, long before I was a blogger myself. One thing that has always been clear in her writing is that throughout her trials with cancer, Susan is first a mother. She’s also, quite literally, a rocket scientist.

Some of you may know that Susan has recently been diagnosed with cancer again, and is undergoing surgery again, today. We wanted to do a little something to support her, in the way only bloggers know how. In the spirit of Susan’s love for her kids and for teaching them science we bring you Team WhyMommy’s Virtual Science Fair! (Thanks to the amazing Stimey for the putting it all together!)

So the science fair project I did with Josh was one he didn’t actually know was happening. I stealth-scienced him. 🙂

My goal for this last week was to fit any science topics I could more into our daily life and conversations, whenever and wherever they seemed to fit. Here’s a few of the highlights!

First we took a walk in the swamp behind our house. It’s early for the frogs yet, (and for mosquitoes for that matter! Yay!) but even without spotting any wildlife we enjoyed it. Clearly he did:

It’s so pretty back there, and we’ve never really taken the time to appreciate it. I’m so glad we did. And we’ll be going back weekly to watch the changes as spring and summer progress.

While we were up in Maine this weekend, we had a chance to stop by my friend’s house to see her new baby cow named DC. Short for Diet Coke, the cow was only 3 days old, (!!) and as cute as can be. I don’t think Josh has ever petted a cow before, at least not a tiny one. I wish I had gotten pictures though! I didn’t even think of it. He also got to pet one of her chickens, which she picks up and holds just like I do with my cat. (She’s been known to comment under the alias “Cluckers” here. I wonder why?)

When we got back to my parent’s house from visiting Cluckers, it was dark and the sky was full of stars. Josh and I really don’t get to see that very often. We have too many trees, and far too much light pollution around our own house. So I made him stop and look. I pointed out Orion, and Cassiopeia, and he asked where the Big Dipper was. Now I’m planning an evening out with him, with a star map in hand, and we’re going to look at the stars for as long he wants to!

One of the most fun things we did this week was taking a walk by a nearby brook that looked more like a river from the heavy rains we’ve had.

Whoa! Of course we talked about the flooding, and we inspected the edges to see how high the waters had come up just a few days before.

See where he’s standing? All of that was underwater!

Then he found a clearing and danced like a leprechaun! So much for real science. 🙂

This week has made me realize that I really don’t do enough of this stuff with my kid. Sure we spend lots of time together, and he loves to read science books, but we don’t experience it as much as we should. I think we just forget to stop and pay attention to things during our usual hectic days, but now that we’ve started I’m not going to stop our science adventures, it’s been too much fun!

Thank you Susan, for inspiring us in so many ways! I hope you can look at the stars with your boys again soon. xo

ps. Go check out all of the other Team WhyMommy’s Virtual Science fair posts!

on contracts, composites, and covers

I rarely talk about work here, mostly because of the I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you confidentiality clause in my contracts. If I can’t actually talk about it, it’s hard to find much to say, you know? I can’t ever reveal much of anything I’m doing until the books are published, and by then they aren’t on my on radar anymore!

The thing is, if I never say anything about work, no one realizes that, well, yeah, I work. A lot! But that’s a whole post of it’s own…

Just to clarify, for those of you new here, I’m a freelance photo editor, working on children’s books for a large publisher. Mostly I work on science books, (animals and such,) and sometimes history books. In a nutshell, they give me a raw manuscript, and I find the photos that fit it best, and then do a bunch of paperwork to buy the rights to use it.

I love my job. It fits me and my life better than I ever could have hoped to find. It took me a long time and lots of grunt work in the industry to get here. But I worry. Will the work dry up? Will more contracts come easily or am I going to have to market myself? That kind of stuff. Every six months or so I wonder if pretty soon I’m going to have to look for a real job.

Well, a few weeks ago I got one contract offer that is more than I made on all of my combined contracts last year. On top of the other smaller contracts I already have going right now. This means I have twice as much work as I did last year, with twice as much time and effort that I’ll have to put into it! Scary! Where am I going to find the time??

This is a good thing though. This means I don’t have to worry again until about March of 2011. This means I don’t have to look for a real job, I have one. Okay, well, I had a real job all along. It’s just hard to believe it when I can do it in my pajamas living room, but whatever.

So, in the new contract is this one book that is making me want to throw my monitor through a window frustrating me right now. I’ve been trying to find the perfect cover image for it. The cover is what sells the book, and it has to be exactly right. This one photo, this elusive image that my editors are begging for, doesn’t seem to exist. ~sigh~

A couple of times now I’ve thought I’ve found it, only to discover it’s a composite image. Ugh! No! That means the photographer took two (or more) images and photoshopped them to look like one. Yuck, with an f. (Sorry Mom.)

Now this is a book publisher that prides itself on excellent images. We don’t do composites unless we absolutely have to. And if we have to we can do it ourselves! Yes, I am a photography snob. Heh.

(This post is starting to feel rambling and pointless. Hey, that’s like, my old groove back!)

Long story short, if you’re wondering what I’m doing at any given time, there’s a good bet I’m trying to find the holy grail of photos for whatever book (or four) I happen to be working on. Looking at pictures all day? Yeah, I know, it’s not a bad gig.

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